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FL - Florida Senators Want Army Corps of Engineers to Fully Fund Florida Priorities

This week, Florida’s two senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott— sent a letter to R.D. James, the assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, ahead of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalizing their fiscal year 2021 work plan, to ensure that, “all proposed and ongoing projects in Florida receive full and fair consideration of their value to local communities, our state, and our nation.”

This includes numerous projects of importance to communities all over the state, and also includes maintaining the unprecedented progress towards the restoration of Florida’s Everglades through projects like the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP). The letter also highlights the clarification by Congress in the recently enacted Water Resources Development Act of 2020 that the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir is a component of CEPP and does not require a new start designation.  The senators expressed their expectation that construction of the federal portion of the EAA reservoir project would begin as soon as possible.  The project support list also includes a critical ecosystem restoration and flood control project in Puerto Rico, known as the Caño Martin Peña project, which aims to improve water quality, restore the watershed’s ecosystem, and address serious public health and safety issues in afflicted neighborhoods in San Juan.

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Assistant Secretary James:

As you finalize the planning and selection process for the fiscal year 2021 (FY21) Work Plan following passage of H.R. 133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, we request that all proposed and ongoing projects in Florida receive full and fair consideration of their value to local communities, our state, and our nation.  Building on our shared progress from FY20, we look forward to working with your office, as well as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Headquarters, South Atlantic Division, and Jacksonville and Mobile District offices, to ensure sufficient resources to fund feasibility studies, preconstruction engineering and design (PED) work, and construction, as warranted throughout Florida.

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